Monday, October 25, 2010

Integral Cinema Project Receives Fiscal Sponsorship from Fractured Atlas

The Integral Cinema Project has been granted fiscal sponsorship from Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization, allowing us to receive tax-deductable donations by check and credit card as well as non-cash donations of property (equipment, materials, etc.).

Non-Cash Donation of Property
(Equipment, materials, etc.)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Integral Cinema Presentation

Towards an Integral Cinema: The Application of Integral Theory to Cinematic Media Theory and Practice.

Abstract: A historical, theoretical, and viewing analysis is offered of Germaine Dulac’s “integral cinema movement” of the 1920s, suggesting an early introduction of Integral consciousness into cinematic media that corresponds to and predates both Jean Gebser’s and Ken Wilber’s Integral Theories. Defining characteristics of what may constitute an integral cinematic work are mapped out and developed into a set of evaluation criteria using the works of Dulac, Gebser, and Wilber. A preliminary typology of forms of Integral cinematic creation is also presented, and the potential benefits and challenges for the application of Integral Theory to cinematic theory and practice are discussed.

Presentation at Integral Theory Conference 2010 on July 30th, 2010 by Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Integral Cinematic Experiment

A little over ten years ago I had my first encounter with what might be called “integral filmmaking.” I had been studying Ken Wilber’s Sex, Ecology, Spirituality (1995) and practicing George Leonard and Michael Murphy’s Integral Transformative Practice (ITP) on a daily basis. One day I performed my ITP Kata (a set of integrated body, mind, and spirit exercises) right before running a camera test on my new digital video camcorder. Still being in a post-practice transformative state, I had a profound cinematic experience. As I moved through the house with the camera on, I appeared to be fully aware and conscious of my inner experience, the camera in my hand and the space within which I was moving. I exited the house and was drawn to our koi pond. Once there, I felt drawn into the world of the pond and entered a deep state of pure presence or witnessing. My camera became my eyes, and my body, my awareness and the camera danced with the fish, the gently rippling water, the shimmering sunlight, the caressing wind and the material forms of the pond and its surroundings. I spent hours at the pond, lost in a deep cinematic meditation process. Afterwards I felt a profound sense of gratitude and grace.

When I viewed my footage I was amazed at what I had captured. There before my eyes appeared to be a cinematic example of the four dimensions/perspectives of Wilber’s Integral Theory (Subjective/I Space; Inter-Subjective/We Space; Objective/IT Space; and Inter-Objective/ITS Space): Besides the physical reality of the pond (IT Space) and the environment within and around it (ITS Space), I had footage of the individual koi fish in which I could sense their individual presence (I Space) and footage of the fish in pairs and groups that seemed to reveal a collective and inter-relational presence (WE Space).

I decided to continue my accidental experiment, spending the next few days editing the material while in a post-ITP state. I would basically perform my ITP Kata (Leonard & Murphy, 1995) and then sit down at the computer and edit in that state. It was a wondrous experience, and once I finished, the viewing of the final work sent me into the very state I experienced while shooting it. When I showed it to a few people they all said the same thing -- that the video put them into a very relaxed state and gave them the experience of actually being at the koi pond.


Kaplan, M. A. (2002). The Pond [Digital Video].

Leonard, G. & Murphy, M. (1995). The life we are given: A long-term program for realizing the potential of body, mind, heart, and soul. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology, spirituality: The spirit of evolution. Boston, MA: Shambhala.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Project Advisor Announcement: Sean Esbjörn-Hargen, Ph.D.

Sean Esbjörn-Hargen, Ph.D. has agreed to be an advisor on the Integral Cinema Project. Sean is an associate professor and founding Chair of the Integral Theory Program at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California. He is a leading scholar-practitioner in Integral Theory and has worked closely with Ken Wilber for a decade operationalizing the integral (AQAL) model in multiple contexts. Sean is a founding member of Integral Institute and currently serves as their Vice President of Applications and Research. He is also the founding Director of the Integral Research Center, the founding Executive Editor of the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, and co-founder of the biennial Integral Theory Conference. Sean is one of the most published authors applying the integral model to a variety of topics, including: Research, consciousness studies, intersubjectivity, education, sustainable development, ecology, science and religion, and play. His articles have appeared in academic journals such as the Journal of Consciousness Studies, World Futures, ReVision, and Journal of Humanistic Psychology. He also co-edited Ken Wilber’s book The Simple Feeling of Being, (2004) and is the co-author of Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World (2009) and the editor of Integral Theory in Action (2010). You can learn more about Sean at:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Integral Cinema Project Receives Fiscal Sponsorship from the San Francisco Film Society


The Integral Cinema Project has been granted fiscal sponsorship by the San Francisco Film Society, making all donations to the project tax-deductable.

To make a donation please visit the the SFFS Integral Cinema Project donation page at:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Integral-Convergence Age

If the co-evolutionary dance between the Pluralistic worldview movement in the LL cultural holon and the Information Age in the LR social holon is evolving to the next level, that of an Integral worldview movement in the LL cultural holon, the question arises: What is the equivalent Socio-Techno-Economic Age in the LR social holon?

There are many indicators that suggest that this next age is already unfolding, as information technologies and networks evolve into convergent technologies, networks, and systems. Terminologies like convergence media appliances, virtual reality, immersive environments, avatars, embedded technologies, and augmented realities are swirling around in the information soup. Entertainment streams across multiple delivery platforms into our theaters, homes, cars, computer screens, phones, gaming consoles, and even through digital walls in the architectural and social spaces around us. The movie Avatar immerses us in its world through immersive IMAX 3D technology telling us a story about becoming technologically immersed in another body and reality. Gamers take on virtual personas and play each other in living rooms and on cell phones across the globe. On other technology fronts, human and natural realities are converging as well, from genetic modification to hybrid and nanotechnologies. We ride around in hybrid vehicles, eat genetically modified foods, wear nanotech clothing, attend virtual concerts, purchase goods and services in a virtual economy, and communicate with each other through phones that are also computers, radios, televisions, and global positioning devices.

One of the first observers of the convergence trend in media technologies was MIT political scientist Ithiel de Sola Pool who noted an emerging media convergence process that he called the “convergence of modes” in which the lines between media platforms are blurred and “the one-to-one relationship between a medium and its use” is eroded (Pool, 1983, p.23).

American media scholar Henry Jenkins extended this work through his observations of a co-evolutionary trend between convergence media socio-techno-economic forces (LR) and what he calls convergence culture (LL), noting that “convergence does not occur through media appliances, however sophisticated they become. Convergence occurs within the brains of the individual consumers and through their social interactions with others” (Jenkins, 2008, p.3). This new convergence culture is made up of individuals and social networks that engage with and integrate dispersed media content into meaningful wholes. Jenkins notes that this co-evolving techno-cultural movement appears to be ushering in an “…era of media convergence, collective intelligence, and participatory culture” (Jenkins, 2008, p.170).

Another hallmark of this Convergence Age is the increased capacity for embodied “perspective-taking.” Whereas the Information Age gave us a multitude of information and information sources, the Convergence Age portends to offer us the capacity to take on a multitude of perceptions and worldviews, one of the essential qualities of the Integral perspective.

Both Pool and Jenkins note that the capacity to navigate this rapidly evolving and convergent environment is incredibly complex and challenging. If this trend is indeed the co-evolutionary movement in an Integral-Convergence Age, then the Integral worldview would be the most appropriate level of consciousness for fully comprehending and mastering this unfolding era.

One of the coming major tipping points in the emergence of this Convergence Age will most likely be the widespread disbursement of high speed and high bandwidth communication networks advanced enough to fully handle immersive, embedded, and virtual realties. While this technology already exists, its widespread dispersion is dependent on various political and financial constraints…so this tipping point in the technological and communication domains can occur very soon or take many years to actually reach its evolutionary moment. Google’s recent announcement of their intention to bring this type of widespread and advanced networking technology to the world is an indicator that there is indeed movement toward this particular tipping point.

Wilber notes that as we evolve up the evolutionary ladder, greater depth and span also brings greater challenges and potential dangers (Wilber, 2003). This new Convergence Age also ushers in the potential threat of nano-viruses, genetic mutation, the erosion of direct human contact social structures, and many other new challenges.

Many of these threats come from the potential misuse of these higher technologies by individuals and cultures operating at a lower worldview. History is full of horrific examples of this mismatch between consciousness and technology, from the holocaust to the potential for nuclear terrorism. The complex and often push and pull co-evolution of consciousness and technology is interestingly reflected in the film Avatar, which appears to be a convergence technology movie with a Pluralistic worldview center-of-gravity, telling a story about the use and abuse of convergence technologies by a dysfunctional mythic-rational human culture against an idyllic (Pre/Trans) magic-mythic alien culture.

As with all evolutionary movements, there is great challenge and also great potential. As one nanotechnology futurist website proclaims… “We are approaching an evolutionary event horizon, where the organic and the synthetic, the virtual and the ‘real’, are merging together into an operational ecology, an existence morphology for which there is no precedent in the history of which we are currently aware” (


Henry Jenkins (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: NYU Press.

Ithiel de Sola Pool (1983). Technologies of Freedom: On Free Speech in an Electronic Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Ken Wilber (2003). Volume 2 of the Kosmos Trilogy: Excerpts A, B, C, D, and G. Available at:

*Originally published at Integral Life

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Integral Cinema Presentation

Integral Cinema Project lead researcher Mark Allan Kaplan, Ph.D. has been selected to present preliminary research findings and theories on the the application of Integral Theory to cinematic media theory and practice at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference.

The Integral Theory Conference 2010. July 29 through August 1, 2010. Pleasant Hill, California.